YouTube Channel!

YouTube Basics 001 Introduction

So over the last few months, I’ve been doing a little videoing of my art as I go. I have been encouraged to start a YouTube channel for years but I could not see how it could fit in with my life, writing, resting, travelling etc. But then I stumbled upon a few ideas on how to do it easily. I used to teach art and I love teaching but hate being in front of a camera. So I’ve decided to just be me, stay off camera, and teach as usual… and let the rest flow. I’m loving it, and I’m not putting any pressure on myself at all.

I feel as though it has brought together all the things that I love doing. It also opened me up to a whole new audience. So if you are into art, or YouTube, or just want a look, I’d love it if you’d check it out. Some videos are short and sweet, others for the die hard art fans, are longer and more detailed, but there will be something there for everyone, and yes, they will also be a platform to me to share what I think about the world, health, writing, other authors, and so on … as well as a place to keep doing what I love most 🙂

It will also create things to give away through launches and other events, so watch this space 🙂 …and as always, I’d love your support so please feel free to check out the links on my facebook page etc and share them, subscribe etc 🙂

Subscribe to see them dry & what I do to them next!

http://ow.ly/QPnR30eqP4Y

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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Building a Launch Team 01

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Welcome to the countdown to my new, as-yet-un-named book due out at the end of November this year! (16 weeks today actually!)

A whole bunch of you have followed my earlier series on Launch Teams and asked me about self-publishing, so after a couple of months hiding and travelling (actually very busy on other important things), I am now back in full swing and plan on taking you through every step of this exciting process. From the very beginning to launch day and beyond.

Step one is to set up a private Facebook Group which I have done HERE. The idea of this group would normally be to gather around a team of supporters, and that will still be the case for me, but this time it will also include a bunch of people who would like to observe the process and learn. It is an interactive group with giveaways, news, updates and so on, creating some buzz but also keeping an eye on the processes and progress. It is also a space for an author to be more vulnerable and share hiccups, fears, and even ask for feedback or help when stuck.

This group is usually the first to see book covers, have a say in book covers and titles, layouts and the like. It is a wonderful place for fans and readers to get close to the action as well. So please feel free to join me there, or let your friends and family know, if you think they may be interested.

Once we gather some decent numbers we can move to the next phase, but I will keep you all up to date with how it goes 🙂

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Writing is a Real Life Video Game!

img_3102Being an author used to be simply about writing (and getting a publisher), but now it’s more like being on a complicated role-playing video game! We have to achieve levels before we can move forward, and we need the public to help us!

One of the hardest thing as a writer is to get reviews. Honest ones, Amazon ones. I get so much great feedback, people write to me, talk to me, they thank me and they encourage me. They also ask me a LOT when the next one is coming out.

Instagram free 1But for some reason, they don’t appear to understand that unless they review the book at the end, on Amazon (which takes all of 30 seconds) I can’t progress much further. I still write and will continue to write, but despite nearly 4,000 of my book existing out there and a gazillion promises to write reviews, I am still WAY off target to get my 50 reviews that unlock the key to the next level… for Amazon to take me seriously, promote my books in their adds, put me on the “also bought” lists when other people buy books, and so the list goes on…

Despite selling all these books I am still in the red financially and I need to at least break even before launching the next book…
So today I have put my book out there for free again HERE, but this time for the purpose of getting people to read it and give an honest review. It’s a SHORT book (45 minutes)… so PLEEEEEEASE, I’m begging you, if you have my book please review it, if not please download today and review it, or at least send this to someone who will?? Please?

Help me to unlock this level so I can move to the next one? Help me level up with a short honest review?? Please don’t assume someone else will, most people can’t be bothered or forget… leaving me sitting here on this stupid level … stuck…Thanks! 🙂

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer: 

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 

Facebook Live Events:

May 1st marked the beginning of EDS Awareness Month, but it also marked the beginning of my Facebook Live experiment. I am going to throw everything I can at this for the next few months and see how it goes. I write a lot about chronic illness, but I also write on Writing, Memoir, Sharing my Story and Anxiety so all these things will feature in my Facebook Live streams just like my other writing does. I will be going live 2-3 times a week, at exactly the same time every Monday, the same time every Thursday, and most Saturdays depending on whether or not I can fit it in. I travel a lot so I don’t want to commit to something that I will not be able to keep up with.

All my Facebook Live Streams will either be HERE on my Facebook

page,

or HERE on The Mighty Facebook Page.

Here are the times, and below that will be the 5 categories I’ll be speaking under:

  • Every Monday – | New York: 2pm | London: 7pm | Johannesburg: 8pm |Sydney 4am |

 

  • Every Thursday – | New York: 5am | London: 10am | Johannesburg: 11am |Sydney 7pm |

 

  • Most Saturdays at some random time…

Telling Your Story!

Facebook Live Front B2

These Live Q&A sessions will cover topics like: How to tell your personal journey story, Who are safe people to share it with and when, What to share on Facebook, as well as writing a book, a memoir and/or a blog. I will be sharing my experiences with all these things and more, and you can ask all the questions you like. Feel free to ask questions ahead of time in the comments below or on my Facebook Page. There will be an Event created for each and every Facebook Live edition. For detailed times for this topic, check my Facebook Events Page, or sign on for my monthly newsletters HERE.


Becoming Empowered!

 

Facebook Live BE

These Live Q&A sessions will cover topics like: Educating ourselves and where we get that information, Belonging to groups that uplift and empower us instead of dragging us down, Who to trust, Who to listen to and why, How to find our Limits, How to Self-Care, Who needs therapy and who just needs a good friend.  I will be sharing my experiences about what motivates me and where I find encouragement and inspiration and you can ask all the questions you like. Feel free to ask questions ahead of time in the comments below or on my Facebook Page. There will be an Event created for each and every Facebook Live edition.  For detailed times for this topic, check my Facebook Events Page, or sign on for my monthly newsletters HERE.


Beating Anxiety!

Facbook Live Front D2

These Live Q&A sessions will cover topics like: What is anxiety, How to conquer it, what is my book about, how does anxiety and chronic illness make such a bad combination and so on. I will be sharing my experiences and you can ask all the questions you like! Feel free to ask questions ahead of time in the comments below or on my Facebook Page. There will be an Event created for each and every Facebook Live edition.  For detailed times for this topic, check my Facebook Events Page, or sign on for my monthly newsletters HERE.


Running on Empty!

Facebook Live Front A1-3

 

These Live Q&A sessions will cover topics like: The Spoon Theory, How trauma, grief and pain all steal our energy, Pacing ourselves, How to find our Limits, How to Self-Care and so on. I will be sharing my experiences and you can ask all the questions you like! Feel free to ask questions ahead of time in the comments below or on my Facebook Page. There will be an Event created for each and every Facebook Live edition.  For detailed times for this topic, check my Facebook Events Page, or sign on for my monthly newsletters HERE.


Spontaneously Saturday!

Facebook Live Front D2

These Live Sessions will be quite random and who knows (till they happen!) what they will be about! Sometimes they will catch up on questions I didn’t have time to answer during the week, other times they will be about upcoming news. I will be sharing my experiences and you can ask all the questions you like! Feel free to ask questions ahead of time in the comments below or on my Facebook Page. There will be an Event created for each and every Facebook Live edition.

Where I hang out:

@JPeaSmith
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Free This Friday!

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 4.18.29 PMIf you haven’t grabbed a copy of my book yet, then this Friday could be a good time as it is free for the day! Also for those who bought it in the first couple of months, this is a great opportunity to get an upgrade as we have added the workbook to the end for those who would like it!

And as always, a reminder that writing an honest review means the world to me (and my street cred too of course), so if you have read my book and not left a review, I would love it if you could 🙂

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To book a talk with me and discuss my schedule you can contact me on JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

Where you can find and follow Jennifer: 

@JPeaSmith

Sharing & Book Signing.

I love a good book signing, but even more than that I love to speak about what is in the book and to share my story in a way that gives encouragement to others. Roll the two into one and it is even better.

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So last week, when I had an amazing opportunity to do both and speak at Life Line here in Johannesburg, I was thrilled (and humbled and honoured!). For those of you haven’t heard of Lifeline, they are a nonprofit organisation across the world who provide round-the-clock telephone and scheduled face-to-face counselling sessions, for free, to anyone in need of help. They are and always have been a fabulous group of dedicated people. I have not had much to do with them until now, but I have always known that they were out there one way or another.

IMG_3751It was a huge privilege to be invited to speak to some of their local counsellors about my Book (The Lion and the Peacock) and my own anxiety journey, and the ways that I have conquered it.

But as Thursday rolled on, it turned out to be a cold, very wet and stormy night, on the eve of organised protests across our country, so I was sure that everyone would cancel and stay home. That I would be speaking to an empty room and a handful of organisers.

img_4278Counsellors, however, are a brave lot and I am so thankful to those who came anyway and were such a great audience.

They were super engaging and encouraging and asked so many great questions that the nearly two-hour Q&A session felt like about five minutes.

My lovely husband took tons of photos and videos throughout the evening and promptly lost the whole lot when he synched his phone overnight, so we have had to rely on the handful on snapshots taken by others (thank you Lifeline for sharing them with me!). But we also now need to try and remember some of the great questions so that I can share them with you! … so watch this space.

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Thanks Lifeline for the opportunity, and this great endorsement:

Julie post LifeLine

img_4276To book a talk with me and discuss my schedule you can contact me on JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

Where you can find and follow Jennifer: 

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 

Growing Facebook

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One thing I hate doing is self-promotion. Blowing one’s own trumpet has never sat well with me. But in the current world, we have little choice even if we aren’t selling anything! To build a community of any kind, we need to advertise and ask and shout and put ourselves in front of people, otherwise, they just don’t see us. So I am going to be brave again this week and ask for support. I need to grow my Facebook followers. If they grow then my “online presence” grows and my updates are more likely to appear on newsfeeds. It is a never ending circus, but I have no choice. So if you would like to help, then please follow, share my posts, leave comments, and if nothing else, please share this post.

All new Facebook followers and all who sign on HERE for my monthly newsletter will go into the draw to win a signed copy of MY BOOK. So please help get the word out there today! Thanks!

To follow, share, support etc: My Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/JPeaSmith/

Or any of these links: 

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 

A New Voice in my Head!

img_5205-1There is a new voice in my head, and it’s a good one. First, there were all the people in my life who tried to tell me “You can’t write that!!!” “How dare you write that!!!” “You will regret this young lady” and so on, and so on. I have pretty much dealt with them, thanks to Social Media and the almost steady stream of comments like “Tell your story!” “If they didn’t want you to write about them then they should have behaved better” and the like.

There are other reasons that I am able to mostly silence those voices, but that is for another day. For now, my latest concern is that Social Media is also awash with experts, and not all of them are on the same page. “Publish like this” “Publish like that” “You shouldn’t use this voice” “You can’t use that voice” … AAAHHHH!!!

But a couple of weeks ago I signed on for four sessions with a writing coach. No, coaches ain’t cheap, but the thing is, she is a bit of a veteran in the publishing world and she doesn’t know me from a bar of soap. She is a total stranger and she reads my work in the same way that someone buying my book will. She knows nothing of my history, my imperfections, my excuses.

I was a little worried that I would not be able to remember all the rules that she will teach me, that I will not be able to stick to all that she teaches me, but as I have been writing the last few days (and I have written a lot, she inspires me!) I would find myself asking how Brooke would respond if she were reading it. She is the new voice in my head. I have no doubt that she isn’t perfect, but so far she is more reliable than those who love me and want my writing to be good.

I am only half way through these sessions and already I can hear her voice in my head telling me to rewrite a paragraph, to tell it differently. The changes are both significant and meaningful, yet it is still my voice. She is giving me new roots for all the writing ahead and this is changing the course of the way that I express myself. I write memoirs and the story hasn’t changed, but the way that I tell it has. And if the next two sessions produce as much fruit as the first two, then watch out Authory world, here I come!

GIVEAWAY!

Everyone loves a GIVEAWAY right? To celebrate the launch of the paperback version of The Lion and the Peacock, we will be giving away a handful of signed copies. To enter, all you need to do is to Like and Follow my author Facebook Page, click on the pinned post at the top, share it, and in the comments below it, write the country that you live in.
Every two weeks for the next 6 months (March-August), I will pick a country, and then randomly select a winner from that country and send them a free, signed copy of the book. March is USA and South Africa!  (Please read the T&Cs in the very first comment of the post).
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For a second chance to win, sign up here for my no spam newsletter, and get all the updates on what country is coming up and when. I will also publish the winners in the newsletter, so don’t forget to sign up! ( http://ow.ly/C24N309CH0X )

Where Jennifer hangs out: 

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Two Tier Support?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-12-58-35-pmI am toying with an idea here, and I need to know what you think. It is somewhere in the space of having two distinct groups in my launch teams.

People who have their own launch teams tend to be way better supporters of others, and I have seen groups where they unwittingly land up with a group that is deeply connected and supportive, much like I spoke about in this post a few weeks ago. The problem with this is that it can backfire and if it does it will happen without notice, and it is irreversible, and you can land up losing your very best reviews.

This is just a thought that I am having, so bear with me, please.

What about having a two-tier support group or even two launch teams? is that too hard. But the benefits are twofold. The first is that you split your roles but secondly, you can grow your team way bigger (I think).

Team A: These people are full-on supporters. They read ARC copies, they download your book on its free day, they leave reviews on every country of Amazon and Goodreads and they blog about your book, share it on Facebook and so on. These people are a dream come true. They are FABULOUS. They are also people that you trust to follow through. These are the people that I would have on my launch team whether I had one or two.

But Amazon will not let them review our work if we are personal friends OR EVEN IF SUSPECT that we are friends. We need these people desperately but then all should agree to not connect on a personal level through social media!

Team B: These people are just as important. But they don’t have enough cred on Amazon to leave reviews, and/or they are family and friends that can’t review us anyway. They are the people who don’t want to be bombarded with all the info on the launch team site and they don’t have the time to read ARCs, and nor do they want to. They are simply happy to give us some love when our book comes out, share on Facebook and so on. I find that a lot of people lose these people from their launch teams because they are simply not that into the whole process. They just want to lose the bottom line.

They aren’t second best, they just play a different role. They can be friends on Facebook, they can love and support. But if we keep them out of the nitty gritty then more of them might stay?

Any thoughts?

Where Jennifer hangs out: 

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman